The highest court in Pennsylvania has ruled that the state constitution does not bar Governor Ed Rendell from employing and paying state workers during the current budget stalemate. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is standing by the state worker’s unions.
State workers unions have claimed that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act trumps a section of the state constitution that requires an appropriation to be passed before compensation is paid from the state’s treasury.
The justices ruled that the language “does not prohibit the commonwealth from continuing to employ and pay all nonexempt commonwealth employees in the event that the Pennsylvania Legislature fails to pass a budget.”
In 2007, a budget impasse led to a one-day furlough for 24,000 employees. Rendell proposed the same in 2008 before an agreement was reached by both sides.Supreme Court In Pennsylvania Sides With Labor Unions by Harrison Barnes